More than 7,000 organ transplants were performed in the period January through March 2015 in the United States, but approximately 123,000 people were still waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in June 2015. An average of 21 people die every day while waiting for a transplant.
Medical advances, including methods of tissue typing and the use of immunosuppressant drugs, have enabled physicians to perform successful transplants and allowed organ recipients to survive longer. Organ transplants, however, remain complicated surgical procedures.
Complications can arise in connection with an organ transplant, or in treating a patient who has or needs an organ transplant. Accidents and injuries can arise, including the possibility of a patient contracting a disease, such as cancer, from an infected organ. Other types of errors can occur, such as the accidental disposal of an organ viable for transplant. When these problems occur in connection with a transplant, litigation can result.
Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to the litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and liability issues that can arise in connection with organ transplants.